Thursday, May 16th, 2013 at 8:00 PM EDT at Madison Square Garden
Game Preview: IND at NYK, Game 5
Scott Agness | May 15, 2013
The Pacers like where they stand, both as a team and in their Eastern Conference semifinal. While the New York Knicks’ locker room appears frustrated and the coaching staff has made ineffective changes – they started a big lineup in Game 4 and yet were still outrebounded by 18 – the Pacers have a positive beat to them.
Related: Hill Out With Concussion »
Just as Pacers coach Frank Vogel described Roy Hibbert as “oozing with confidence” after Game 3, the same holds true for the team. In each of the four games in the series, a different Pacers player has led the team in scoring. Instead of worrying about who’s getting theirs, they keep feeding the hot hand.
Related: Game 5 Viewing Parties »
The Knicks, on the other hand, have been paced by Carmelo Anthony each game. New York’s offense has been Anthony with a minor contribution from another player or two, but nothing consistent outside of their leading scorer. Even so, it hasn’t come easy for Anthony. He’s thrown up at least 23 shots in three of the four games and is 38-of-94 in the series. In Games 3 and 4, he hasn’t made a field goal in the fourth quarter. In 18 minutes spanning the final period of those two games, he’s 0-for-7.
Like they did in Game 3, the Pacers are approaching Game 5 like their season is on the line. In the words of Vogel, it’s “far from over.” But they do seem to hold the formula for success: Be the more aggressive team, minimize turnovers, win the inside game and defend the 3-point shot.
Related: Climate Control »
Paul George, who’s had the responsibility of guarding Anthony, has recorded four double-doubles this postseason. He’s averaging 18.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and five assists per game. He’s done a great job of staying with Anthony, getting through screens and not needing help. But if he does, Hibbert is ready in the middle to protect the rim.
The Pacers head up to New York with a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and an opportunity to wrap it up on Thursday. Should they advance, it would be the Pacers’ first appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals since 2004.
Pacers: George Hill (out, concussion), Danny Granger (out for the season, left knee)
Knicks: Iman Shumpert (questionable, sore left knee)
“I’m excited and extremely proud of them. The effort they’re putting forth is humbling for me to watch, to see these guys pour their heart and souls into the game and playing the game the right way – unselfishly – and doing all the little things to make winning plays.” – Frank Vogel on the growth of his team
“All you got to do is look at their offensive production this year, see how explosive they are on the offensive end. They’re never out of a game. They’re never out of a series and we know how tenacious they are defensively.” – Frank Vogel on his message to the team
“I think a lot, hopefully. We just gained a lot of confidence to win on the road in general in the playoffs. To win a closeout game on the road is very difficult to do. This is going to be the most difficult game of the series.” – Frank Vogel on confidence gained from closing out the Hawks in Atlanta
“I feel like we have to go into New York like we’re about to get eliminated, like we’re down 1-3. I think if we do that and play with the same type of energy, and effort and passion that we played with [Tuesday] we can come away with a win. But, it’s not going to be easy.” – George Hill
“We just have to come out aggressive. It’s hard to play in that building and the fans are going to try and get into our heads. We just have to take away their airspace and play together.” – Lance Stephenson
“We understand the next game will be the toughest game of the series. They had some desperation [in Game 4] but the desperation they play with Thursday night is going to be tremendous. We just have to be prepared to deal with it.” – David West
- The Pacers are 1-3 at Madison Square Garden this season.
- In the last five playoff series between these two teams, the one that held a 3-1 lead has gone on to win each series.
- Knicks guard Jason Kidd hasn’t scored in the last eight games. He’s 0-for-16 in 177 minutes.
May 14: The Pacers never trailed in their Game 4 win at home, 93-82. They jumped out to a 11-3 lead but the Knicks, who started big – with forward Kenyon Martin starting in place of guard Pablo Prigioni – came back to tie the game at 14. But from that point, the Pacers controlled the tempo, the lane, and the game. Five Indiana players were in double figures, led by George Hill’s 26 points – four points off a career-high. Paul George was just 6-of-19 from the floor but he had a complete game, finishing with 18 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists while holding Carmelo Anthony to 24 points on 23 shots.
The Pacers held the Knicks to 36 percent shooting, including 8-of-28 (29 percent) from 3-point range. They were +18 on the boards and outscored the Knicks 10-3 in transition. J.R. Smith, who has struggled going back to the first round, was 7-of-22 from the floor. After the game, Smith said, “I take the blame for this whole series.”
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings
TV: TNT - Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Reggie Miller (analyst), Rachel Nichols (reporter)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Austin Croshere (analyst), Michael Grady (host)
Note: The Pacers TV crew of Chris Denari, Quinn Buckner, Austin Croshere and Brooke Olzendam will have a 30-minute postgame show on FOX Sports Indiana immediately following the game./>/>
Good seats remain for Game 6 (if necessary) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Find Tickets »